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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 14, Part 1 (Secessionville)
Page 524 COASTS OF S.C., GA.,AND MID.AND EAST FLA. Chapter XXVI.

the river and harbor obstructions. These should be rendered as strong as it is possible for them to be made. Spare no labor or expense upon them. It is also of the greatest importance that the discipline of the garrisons of the different works should be brought to the highest state of perfection. Let it be distinctly understood by everybody that Charleston and Savannah are to be defended to the last extremity. If the harbors are taken the cities are to be fought street by street and house by house as long as we have a foot of ground to stand upon. The State authorities of both South Carolina and Georgia will doubtless lend you every means at their command to aid you in your operations.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.


HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., May 29, 1862.

His Excellency FRANCIS W. PICKENS,
Governor of South Carolina:

GOVERNOR: Your letter of May 23 has been received. I thank you most cordially for the freedom with which you have made your suggestions about the state of affairs at Charleston and will assure you that they are duly considered. I am sure that we both estimate alike the importance of defending the city of Charleston to the last extremity. To lose this city now would, as you remarked, close our only channel of communication with the foreign world, through which we have and still hope to receive many valuable cargoes of munitions of war. The dissensions which have arisen among the officers who have been called to the defense of Charleston are truly to be regretted. Steps have been taken as far as practicable at present to remedy to some extent this evil. General Ripley has been relieved from duty in Charleston and ordered elsewhere and another competent officer will be sent to replace him. I will here insert, for your information, a copy of my instructions to General Pemberton:*

* * * * *

I feel well assured. Governor, of your hearty co-operation with the Confederate forces serving in your State. Harmonious action between the State and Confederate authorities is greatly to be desired, and must result in promoting the general good.

There are now in position in the different works about Charleston over two hundred guns, many of these of the most improved class. I feel confident that this number of guns, if properly managed and fought, will render Charleston impregnable. If it, however, be found that other guns are needed, and they can be procured, they shall be sent to Charleston. There are none available at this place now.

In regard to General Huger, just at this time it is impossible to comply with your suggestion. He commands a division of General Johnston's army around this city. Having commanded it many months, knowing its condition, and being accustomed to the command, he cannot be relieved without injury to the service. I esteem him very highly, and he has always been regarded as an officer of great merit, especially as an artillerist. I do not know how far the causes you mention might impair his usefulness in Carolina.

I am, Governor, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE.

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*See p.523.

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Page 524 COASTS OF S.C., GA.,AND MID.AND EAST FLA. Chapter XXVI.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 14, Part 1 (Secessionville)
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